Friday, May 02, 2014

Mike's Story Part 11: Apprentice Devils

   The reason Mike felt impelled to confess the burundanga episode had to do with an event that had taken place back home.
   FTW subscribers used to get news updates on a daily basis, if memory serves.  One afternoon we opened the email to find a long account, supposedly from Mike, describing his life in Caracas as one of debauchery - drinking, whoring and blowing money which had been raised from those same subscribers after the computers were smashed and FTW's fate hung in the balance.  (This chronology, too, is drawn from memory and may be inaccurate in some details.  But it is widely known that subscribers or, in later years, Facebook friends, donated funds when Mike or the site was in trouble.  Given the nature of the work, these financial difficulties were inevitable rather than the result of any incompetence.  See this email written by Mike though it's stored on a site that is hostile to him, concerning the FBI's seizure of his bank account.)
   The bizarre email, which appeared to have been sent from the usual FTW address, was skillfully written in Mike's style.  However, veteran subscribers recognized it as a hoax. Newcomers were more inclined to find it alarming, as the sender intended.  Beyond that, no one knew what to make of it.  FTW and the blog were besieged with inquiries, all variations on the theme of, "WTF?"
   Mike knew that the credit card expenses he'd run up the night of his burundanga exposure, as well as the ATM withdrawals, would eventually have made their way to FTW headquarters.  He also knew he'd offended some employees, even physically pushing one of them.  He surmised that someone was getting back at him by playing a humiliating joke, showing him who was actually in charge. 
   His coming-clean email (the real one) written in AA tradition to his closest circle was in effort to keep FTW from falling apart.  He'd left it in the hands of capable people but you can't hand over a company after a two week transition, no matter how thorough, and expect it to continue running as it did when you were overseeing it.  The staff you've left it to don't have the same investment.  They're doing a job; the company is not their baby.
   Mike had to tell the whole story in order to prove that while his foray into the underworld of burundanga was not his finest moment, it was also far from the sleaze that the fake email was smearing him with.  His explanation was offered as a figurative bowed head, in order to hold onto those few friends he still trusted and bring the ones he'd angered back into the fold.
   (After FTW closed up shop for good as an active site - though the archives remain online - other high jinx took place which undoubtedly originated with weightier enemies than the bogus email:  For a while, clicking on certain links led not to FTW articles but to WING-TV,
   This was the website of Victor Thorn, aka
Scott Makufka.  One of Mike's nemeses during the heyday of FTW, Thorn is the author of such masterworks as Occult 9-11; JFK and UFO; and Hillary (And Bill:) The Sex Volume and The Holocaust Hoax Exposed.
   Mike's suspicion that Victor Thorn had been tasked by the government with being a
thorn in Mike's side may have proven justified.  As soon as FTW closed for good, so did WING-TV.  Their last show aired in November, 2006.)

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